How to Grow Aronia melanocarp Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Black Chokeberry

Aronia melanocarpa, more commonly known as the black chokeberry, is a member of the rose family (Rosaceae) and is native to Eastern North America.

Expect a black chokeberry bush to grow anywhere from 3 to 6 feet tall (0.9 to 1.8 m). It gets its common name from the bitter taste of its fruit.

Chokeberry flowers
Chokeberry flowers and leaves, image by Fritz Flohr Reynolds; CC.

This deciduous shrub can be grown as part of a shrub border, in a small garden, or open areas.

It can readily be grown near ponds or streams due to its tolerance for wet soil.

Black chokeberry
Black chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) photograph by Andrey Zharkikh.

Its popularity with gardeners may arise from its lovely white flowers in springtime and bright red leaves and dark fruit in the autumn.

Some people have also started growing Aronia black chokeberries as part of a booming super food trend in the United States.

Aronia melanocarpa Plants
Aronia melanocarpa Plant, photograph by F. D. Richards; CC.

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Black Chokeberry

When planting Aronia melanocarpa, make sure to dig a wide hole to give its fibrous roots plenty of room to spread.

Black chokeberry grows well in the spring in a location that gets at least 15 inches (38 cm) of rain per year.

Plants thrive in full sun, but will still grow in partial shade.

Aronia melanocarpa loves moist soil and will enjoy a well-drained spot in a garden. It is adaptable to most soils, including clay, acidic, or basic.

Supply a mulch to help promote moisture conservation.

Remove suckers as soon as they appear to prevent the quick spread of this shrub into its surrounding areas. Otherwise, managing this plant is pretty much a low maintenance affair.

Aronia melanocarpa Growing and Care Guide

  • Scientific Name: Aronia melanocarpa
  • Common Name: Black chokeberry
  • Growing Zone: USA: 3 to 8
  • Life Cycle / Plant Type: Shrub

Plant Details

  • Plant Height (Inches): 36 to 72
  • Plant Spread (Inches): 48 to 72
  • Time of Bloom: Spring
  • Flower Details: White
  • Leaf Foliage: Green
  • Fruit:
  • Growth Form: Oval

Ideal Growing Conditions

  • Best Light Conditions: Shady to full sunlight
  • Rate of Growth: Average pace
  • Suitable Soil Types: Acidic, Clay, Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Slightly alkaline, Well drained
  • Soil Moisture: Moist

Caring Conditions

  • Care:
  • Level of Maintenance: low
  • Propagation: Seeds in autumn, softwood cuttings in early summer
  • How to Prune:
  • Pests: Usually pest free
  • Diseases: Usually pest free

Further Information

  • Can Attract: Birds
  • Tolerant of: Bogs
  • Best Garden Use: Screen, Specimen
  • Family: Rosaceae (roses)
  • Closely Related Species: Roses (Rosa), Prunus, Alchemilla, Aronia, Aruncus, Pyrus, Sanguisorba, Sorbus, Acaena, Crataegus, Rubus, and Waldstenia.

  • Miscellaneous: Entices birdlife to the garden, North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Attractive flowers / blooms
  • Genus Detail: Aronia
  • Further Reading and References: Here and Here

Black Chokeberry plant in the Fall
Black Chokeberry showing Fall colours, photograph by F. D. Richards; CC.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Aronia melanocarpa. You may also enjoy the following growing guides: How to grow Sun Rose and Rosa rugosa.